There have already been 24,019 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu across Australia so far this year, according to official Department of Health figures.

That’s up 29 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Flu vaccination is recommended every year for anyone aged 6 months of age and over, to reduce the risk of becoming ill with the flu.

The best time to vaccinate is in autumn, but flu vaccines can be given at any time during the flu season while the vaccine is available. It usually takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection.

All 2024 southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines available for use in Australia for the 2024 flu season are quadrivalent meaning they contain four strains – two influenza A and two influenza B.

Most side effects are minor, last a short time and resolve without any treatment. Generally, common reactions such as fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness at the injection site begin within a few hours as the immune system starts to respond to the vaccine and last for 1 to 2 days.

You cannot get the flu from the vaccine because it does not contain any live flu virus. More serious reactions are rare.

Stirling Central Health Clinic will be offering Flu Vaccination Clinics. To make an appointment book here.